NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Teen Marriages Usually End In Divorce

May 25, 2001

The older a woman is at first marriage, the longer that marriage is likely to last. That is one of the conclusions of a study based on a 1995 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which looked at 10,847 women ages 15-44. Among the statistics on divorce probabilities, which apply only to that age group, are the following:

  • Some 43 percent of first marriages end in either divorce or separation within 15 years -- with one in three first marriages dissolving within 10 years, and one in five within five years.
  • About 59 percent of marriages of women under 18 end in separation or divorce within 15 years, compared with 36 percent of those married at age 20 or older.
  • The probability of divorce after 10 years was 20 percent in 1973, and 33 percent in 1995.
  • Remarriages hold up somewhat less well than first marriages -- with 39 percent of remarriages dissolving within 10 years.

The report will be updated with a new wave of survey data within two years.

Source: Matthew D. Bramlett and William D. Mosher, "First Marriage Dissolution, Divorce, and Remarriage: United States," Advance Data, May 31, 2001, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Washington D.C.; Karen S. Peterson, "43 Percent of 1st Marriages End in 15 Years," USA Today, May 25, 2001.

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